Spanish GP - Preview
Posted on October 13, 2021
This weekend, round 13 of the FIM Motocross World Championship heads to intu Xanadú – Arroyomolinos for the MXGP of Spain.
Following the success of its debut in 2020, the intu Xanadú – Arroyomolinos circuit will once again host the fastest riders in the world as we continue this intense season of racing.
Based just 23km from downtown Madrid, the venue is located next to intu Xanadú, one of the biggest commercial centres in Europe. The Madrid region offers many famous historical tourist attractions, such as castles, gastronomy, art and of course shopping, along with the good weather and high quality of life.
The circuit itself, is hardpack on a clay terrain. The track features a good combination between long and high jumps, along with different kind of corners. Deep ruts are expected this weekend, with many corners filled with different lines for the riders to choose from.
Racing alongside the MXGP and MX2 categories this weekend will also be the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship and the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing.
In WMX, Bike IT MTX Kawasaki rider Courtney Duncan will look to maintain the championship lead over Kiara Fontanesi who secured her first overall victory of the season at the previous round in Turkey where she went 1-1. With the confidence of a perfect score, Fontanesi will be a big threat but no doubt the other ladies will rise to the challenge too.
Meanwhile in the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing category, MRT Racing Team KTM rider Valerio Lata will aim for two solid races in order to stay ahead of his closest championship rival Kay Karssemakers of Husqvarna SKS Racing NL who is just 17 points behind.
The MXGP title fight remains tight knit as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings is back in the lead after taking back the red plate in France last weekend. Since making his return from injury, Herlings has maintained a healthy seven GP podium streak, four of which have been overall victories. This weekend the Bullet will race in Arroyomolinos for the first time, and it will be interesting to see how he will adapt to the new venue and whether he can add another overall win.
While Herlings may be the championship leader once again, the advantage that he has over Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre is slim. The Frenchman is just six points adrift, which means that there is a chance that we could see the red plate back on a Kawasaki for the first time since Gautier Paulin secured the championship lead at the MXGP of Qatar in 2014.
Then there’s Team HRC’s Tim Gajser who lost the red plate in Riola Sardo as he was recovering from injury, then got it back in Germany and then lost it again in France but still remains just 10 points behind. Gajser struggled to find his rhythm in Lacapelle Marival but still managed to podium and of course his focus for the upcoming GP will be to take some good points and get back into the swing of things.
The Spanish Grand Prix will be an important one for the next rider in the championship standings, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado, who will look to put his best foot forward at his home Grand Prix and deliver some top results. Of course, this will be no easy task as the young Spaniard is recovering from the crash in Germany which resulted in him needing stitches in his armpit.
Also struggling in the last few GPs has been Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli who is getting back up to speed since his crash at the MXGP of Sardegna. The Italian has lost a big of ground in the title chase but with 300 points still up for grabs, he’s still not out of contention just yet.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer has been getting back to where he belongs in the last few races as the Swiss has been consistently fighting inside the top 5. In fact, Seewer was tied on points with Gajser for the podium in France, so the MXGP of Spain could see him finally get back on the podium, since his last one was in Loket earlier this season. Meanwhile his teammates Ben Watson and Glenn Coldenhoff will look for more positive results in the upcoming races.
Also looking for positive results will be Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis and Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen placed seventh overall in France, while Jasikonis was further down the field in 12th place. Olsen finished third on the podium last season in Spain, in the MX2 category, so it will be interesting to see whether he can manage the same in MXGP.
The upcoming race will not only be the home race of Prado but also of Jose Burton from JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team who will no doubt want to put on his best performance for the home crowds. Another Spanish rider that will line up in Arroyomolinos is Joan Cros who will make a wildcard appearance.
In MX2, the championship is pretty much in control of Maxime Renaux from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing who leads the standings with a 91-point advantage over his teammate Jago Geerts. Geerts has struggled with making small mistakes this season which as a result has cost him vital championship points, but hopefully this weekend he can put that behind him and repeat his success of the Spanish GP in 2020 and get back on the podium.
Sitting in a not so distant third is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who finally got himself back on the podium in France. There’s still 300 points up for grabs which means the title is far from being decided and at this point in the series, anything can happen.
In the last few Grand Prix’s we have seen Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle bring his A game and dominate the majority of the races as he has been on the podium for the last five consecutive races, four of which have been overall victories. And while he may not be in the fight for the title, as he currently sits fourth in the championship, more than 100 points behind Renaux, this doesn’t mean that he’s completely out of a chance and either way still has the opportunity to go for the silver or bronze medal.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton put together two solid races in Lacapelle Marival and finished the weekend fourth overall, just five points shy of the podium. The Aussie has had some positive results this season and has finished close within a podium spot on several occasions. Meanwhile his teammate Kay De Wolf had a hard weekend in France and will no doubt be looking to bounce back.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rene Hofer also had a couple of good races since his podium finish in Germany and will no doubt want to repeat this success at the upcoming GP. F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van De Moosdijk and Mikkel Haarup were another pair that battled well inside the top 10 and we hope to see more of the same this weekend.
But of course, this weekend will be a special one for Ruben Fernandez of Honda 114 Motorsports, as it will be his home Grand Prix in Spain. No bout the Honda rider will want to put on a good performance but will need to take it easy as he continues his return from a shoulder injury that he picked up in Riola Sardo.
SATURDAY: 09:30 MXE Time Practice, 09:50 WMX Free Practice, 10:20 EMX125 Free Practice, 11:30 WMX Qualifying Practice, 12:05 EMX125 Qualifying Practice, 12:50 MXE Race 1, 13:30 WMX Race 1, 14:20 EMX125 Race 1, 15:30 WMX Race 2, 16:25 EMX125 Race 2, 17:20 MXE Race 2.
SUNDAY: 08:55 MXE Free/Time Practice, 09:15 MX2 Free/Time Practice, 10:15 MXGP Free/Time Practice, 11:35 MXE Race 1, 12:15 MX2 Race 1, 13:15 MXGP Race 1, 14:35 MXE Race 2, 15:10 MX2 Race 2, 16:10 MXGP Race 2.